Mobile-enabled financial services (m-banking) involves the use of a mobile phone or another mobile device to undertake financial transactions linked to a client’s account. M-banking is one of the newest approaches to the provision of financial services through ICT, made possible by the widespread adoption of mobile phones even in low income countries. The roll out of mobile telephony has been rapid, and has extended access well beyond already connected customers in developing countries. There is mounting evidence of positive social impact on poorer people and communities as a result.
M-banking is new in most countries, and there has been limited public donor support in the sector to date. This report considers the case for donors to support m-banking as a sector, by assessing:
- The likely impact on the lives of poor people in theory and practice—the ‘why’ of donor intervention
- The needs and gaps arising from the development of the sector to date, in the light of what donor-funded programs are already doing
In the light of this assessment, the report goes on to consider strategies and particular initiatives which donors may take to respond concretely to the needs and gaps identified.